Nevertheless, my move is not without some risk (and the stress of the transition has put me into physical therapy). The spontaneous smiles are accompanied by moments of doubt. Following your passion is good advice, but that path doesn't lead you into a land of rainbows and unicorns. How, then, does one take the advice of Dr. Frank-N-Furter? Don't be it; dream it?
- Know what you want. For me, a day that mixes fiction and nonfiction, that includes both writing and rewriting, that allows me to complete projects that never had enough time, is almost enough. I just have to enough money to pay most of the bills.
- Believe you can do it. Yes, every creative person has doubts, but can you construct a list of capabilities and accomplishments that makes the case that you are ready to take a leap? I can't prove that I will write bestselling novels, but I can provide a strong case that I can create prose people will pay for. Think in terms of putting together a portfolio for investors. Could you show the clippings, contracts, credits and samples that would make a case for yourself?
- Have a realistic timeframe. How long do you expect to wait until you see evidence of success? Until you achieve specific goals, such as getting an agent, making as much money as you spend? Getting contracts that carry you into the future? Many creative people underestimate how long they need to achieve their goals, and that builds disappointment and anxiety. Make you best guess for each goal, and add in (50%) extra time.
- Stay away from doubters. Bradbury was big on this. Over and over again, he told writers to cut loose any friends and associates who sowed seeds of doubt or flat out told them they couldn't do it. He was on to something. Some people have a perverse need to crush dreams. And their continuous streams of advice will echo in your mind when your own doubts rise up. It is especially important that the people you are closest to can support your choice in at least a limited way (say, for the length of your timeframe).